NHS England have stated aims for all hospitals to have an Electronic Patient Record system in place by 2025. EPRs are said to be essential in delivering more joined up and integrated care and come with a whole host of benefits. However, there are a series of challenges that need to be addressed when implementing an Electronic Patient Record System.
What is an Electronic Patient Record (EPR)?
Electronic Patient Records (EPRs) are a method of storing medical records and notes digitally, replacing the traditional paper bundles and allow for the efficient access and sharing of data. EPR programmes are patient focused, clinically led and digitally enabled.
Key benefits of EPRs
EPRs are designed to improve patient care across the health and social care system and come with many benefits including:
- Enabling quick access to patient records to allow for more efficient care
- Provide accurate, up-to-date information about patients at the point of care
- Enable more reliable prescribing
- Improve efficiency of care delivery and therefore improve staff wellbeing
- Enhancing the privacy and security of patient data
Key challenges to address with EPRs
Despite the many benefits of EPRs, there’s also some challenges that should be considered during the implementation and use of EPRs:
Keeping general practice and patients safe
With systems in place such as EPRs, general practices have an operational dependence on digital systems to operate on a daily basis. This can put the practice at risk of significant disruption if a system failure were to occur. It also creates potential for a loss of access to data, which could present high risks to the practices in areas such as patient safety and operational continuity.
As healthcare organizations expand or encounter a surge in service requests, scaling on-premises EPRs can pose difficulties. The process of upgrading hardware, software, and IT resources to meet growth requirements can be both costly and time-consuming.
Organisations sometimes use multiple EPR systems from different vendors, and these systems may not communicate effectively with one another. This can create data silos and make it difficult to share information between providers, leading to inefficiencies and potential patient safety issues.
In order to minimise the risks involved, it’s key to follow all guidance as set out by NHS England.
Find out more about Electronic Patient Records at HETT North
You can find out more about EPRs at the HETT North taking place on 28th February 2024 in Manchester. The packed agenda includes over 40 hours of CPD accredited content covering the likes of EPRs, automation, workforce, adoption and productivity, Join over 1,400 digital health professionals and secure your pass today.